Let me just say that the Ion Pod makes little to no sense whatsoever and was a poorly thought out plot device. Yes you can spend years theorising and creating plausibility. I can probably stretch it and explain why it must be ejected instead of retracted but almost all explanation is going to be a design flaw.
I also added a window on the pod, I guess it “could” have had one and a sensor dish because it’s my implausible ion pod and I’ll add stuff if I wanna!!!
The original is up for grabs if no one has snapped it up already.